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Listening Post
India: Truth Alone Prevails
One Indian TV show combines the glitz of Bollywood with some of India's most pressing development issues.
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2012 11:03

India is home to one of the fastest growing media markets in the world. The country has hundreds of channels broadcasting news, sports and entertainment and then of course there is Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry ranked third in the world in terms of revenue.

Earlier this year, a TV show called Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails) combined the glitz of the cinema world with some of India's most pressing development issues.

The show was a huge success, and many say it was down to its host, an award-winning actor named Aamir Khan. Indians are used to seeing film stars on their TV screens, but Khan was not hosting a quiz show or judging a talent contest.

Rather than dancing and singing his way through the show, Khan tackled a list of pressing social issues, mixed with studio discussions and music. The show has attracted millions of viewers each week, raising significant money for social development organisations and even getting the prime minister to take note.

With a second series is on its way, the Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi looks at an Indian TV show that cut through the clutter in a multi-channel minefield.

"You know there was a lot of people who said, why is he doing this show, what is it going to achieve? I think all of that is really immaterial criticism because for me at least, the most important thing this man has done has been to use his star status and his privilege to put seeds of thought you know, societal change, attitudinal change, change of heart. I think it'll have a ripple effect that will keep fanning out in the time to come."

Shoma Chaudhury, the managing editor of Tehelka

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